Located in the village of Scarva, Scarva Visitor Centre invites you to trace the history of canal building and the role of the Newry Canal in the linen industry. Interpretative boards within the Centre help to explain the building of the Canal, its trade and Scarva’s role within this. The highly acclaimed Scarva Tearooms are located within the Centre and serve as a place to relax after exertions on the Towpath or simply to enjoy the tranquility of the canal side setting.
The village of Scarva stands on the very western boundary of the District and on the main road west of Banbridge. It rests beside the Newry Canal Towpath, one of eight long-distance Waymarked Ways in Northern Ireland. The Canal operated for over 200 years and provided employment and generated wealth for the towns and villages along its length. However, the growth of the railway industry had disastrous consequences for the Canal and eventually led to its closure in 1947.
The area boasts magnificent archaeological sites such as the Dane’s Cast and Lisnagade Fort. In June 1690, an army of 30,000 men camped in the Scarva area for training before marching on to meet the forces of King James at the Battle of the Boyne on 12th of July 1690. Whilst training his army, King William is said to have camped under a magnificent Spanish chestnut tree. The tree still flourishes to this day and measures over 25 feet in circumference at the base. Each year, a Sham Fight takes place on the 13th of July on the old training ground used.
Every summer, Sunday afternoon band concerts take place at the Centre making Scarva an ideal destination to spend an enjoyable afternoon.
April – 30 October: Tuesday – Sunday & Public Holidays 9.30am – 5.30pm
30 October - Christmas: Tuesday - Sunday & Public Holidays 10am - 4pm
Main Street, Scarva, Co. Down BT63 6LS
Telephone: 028 3883 2163
Admission: Entrance Free